The photographer’s guide to shutter speed stops.
Quickly double or halve the amount of light in a photo with shutter speed stop adjustments.
Even though exposure stops seem scary on the surface, they’re actually just an easier way to measure light. When you double or halve the amount of light in a photo, you’ve gone up or down one stop. Learn about the relationship between exposure stops and shutter speeds with this helpful info.
Measure light and exposure in shutter speed stops.
Your camera’s shutter opens and closes to let light in. For more exposure, you’ll need a slower shutter speed — and for less, you’ll need a faster one. If you want your next photo to have an increase of one exposure stop, you’ll need twice the light, and therefore twice the shutter speed.
Although camera models vary, most of them have a dial that lets you move shutter speed up and down by 1/3 stop. In this case, for a one stop increase, you’ll need to turn your dial three times.
When to adjust shutter speed stops.
Exposure helps you achieve certain looks and photographic effects. Because shutter speed greatly affects exposure, it’s important to understand when to increase and decrease speed stops.
Decrease your shutter speed by a stop or two to get less exposure. This will “freeze” your subject in motion and minimize motion-blur. However, if you want a motion-blur effect, increase your shutter speed a stop at a time for more exposure.